Saturday, July 31, 2004

Practice at the Washougal Motocross Nationals. Posted by Hello

Launching off the "ski jump" at the Washougal Motocross Nationals. Posted by Hello

Washougal Motocross Nationals

I went up to Washougal today to watch the practice and qualifying for the AMA Motocross race there tomorrow. This year in addition to the usual booths they had a massage booth, so I stopped by for a quick massage.

Later, between practice rounds, I went to the beer garden and ordered a drink. My back was to the track, but the guy serving the beer had a good view. Suddenly he gasped and said, "Ohhhhhh, gawwwwwwwd!" At first I thought he had witnessed a horrifying crash. But this didn't make sense, because the next practice hadn't started yet and I didn't hear any engine sounds. I turned to look, and it took me a second to figure it out. What he saw was a particularly attractive girl in very short shorts walking by. I turned back to him and he grinned. "Legs up to here, man," he said, gesturing chest high, "legs up to here."

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

A Picture of Me is off and running with a fascinating/terrifying bed bug saga.
And then there's this:
June 23
There’s a meeting in the building about the bed bugs. I decide to go to a fundraiser at the Museum of Sex with some girlfriends instead.

Now to me, this is a bit of a missed opportunity. You can go to a museum any time, but getting to attend an actual meeting about bed bugs is probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I'd love to know how that meeting went down. Was there an agenda? Did someone keep the minutes?

Yes, I've been having a bit of fun about all this, but truly it sounds like a horrible experience. It reminds me of something that happened to me once that is probably not nearly as bad:

Years ago I visited with some people who owned a dog. I am a cat person and I'm rarely around dogs, but I do like them. So I played with this friendly dog for an hour or two. That night, I woke up to find myself absolutely covered in what I guess must have been flea bites. (Either that, or I'm severely allergic to this one dog and not to other dogs.) I couldn't sleep. The next day was just torture . . . I had hundreds of bites and they itched like crazy. It took days for the awful feeling to pass.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

This Is How We Dance

Tom with Sculpture at Clos Pegase winery, Napa Valley, CA.

To create this photo, I tried my best to get into the same pose as the sculpture, and had my friends tell me how to adjust my body to match it. I found that duplicating the exact pose of the sculpture is impossible without falling over, and even getting close is very uncomfortable. In the photo my pose does not look too unnatural, but in fact is a very weird, contorted position. Posted by Hello

Monday, July 26, 2004

Napa Valley
Today I went to some Napa Valley wineries. First we went to Niebaum-Coppola, then had a picnic lunch at V. Sattui, then finally went to Clos Pegase. I liked Clos Pegase the best. It has very striking architecture by Michael Graves. He also designed the Portland Building in my home town, which features a pale yellow color on the exterior that seemed to match the color I saw at Clos Pegase.
First Crush
On Saturday night, I had pre-dinner at First Crush in San Francisco. Among the wines I tried was the Robert Pecota 2000 Syrah, which tastes like spicy liquid beef jerky, but in a good way. Completely unlike that, but also good, was the Gregory Graham Knights Valley 2001 Viognier. A world apart from the average Viognier, this one was subtle and crisp. Finally, the Eagle & Rose 2000 Syrah had a pleasantly dry desert vibe to it, with hints of cedar.

It was a fun place, with a friendly crowd.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Speed factor
Why does a given speed feel faster in a taxi than in a normal car? We were just doing 70 heading out of the San Francisco airport but it felt like 90. I kept glancing at the dashboard in disbelief. Taxi factor: +20 mph.

"Yeah Mon!" Seen at the Portland Brewfest. Notice the hops on his hat. Posted by Hello

"Will sell wife for beer." Seen at the Portland Brewfest. Posted by Hello

"You're killing my buzz." Seen at the Portland Brewfest Posted by Hello

"Play More Think Less." Seen at the Portland Brewfest. Posted by Hello

Monday, July 19, 2004

Jon has some daisy and passion flower pictures on his site.

Summer Drink Recipe: The Cordelia

To make The Cordelia, in a large iced tea glass add:
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 slice of lime. When you put it in, press it firmly against the edge of the glass with a spoon to release some of the juice.
  • 2 oz. Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade (or something similar)
  • a dash of bitters
  • 0.5 oz dark rum (I like Cruzan Diamond. Omit this if you want a completely non-alcoholic drink)
  • fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water, and stir
  • float 2 or 3 jasmine blossoms or rose petals on top, if available (they are edible)
This is a very refreshing drink. Original recipe by Iron Monkey.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

I'm hooked on this stick cricket game. It's easy to play but addicting. The same site has a fun soccer game, too. (Passwords: pengio, batty, sheridan, ollie, lard, kingbilly, weegordon, sniffer.)

  • The duck button is not very useful. It prevents you from getting your head split open by a high ball, but a better option is to swing with the left button and hit the ball off to the left for a few points.
  • When a slow ball bounces to your left and then curves off sharply to your right, you can hit it with the left button, timed fairly late.
  • You can practice against spin bowling by using the password "spin"

There is also another version, an Australian stick cricket game here. (Passwords: stinky, kempy, jg, pete, sofa.)

Learn more about cricket at Wikipedia if you don't know the rules.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Updated the summer party quotes.

What will replace extreme sports?

My brother theorizes that extreme sports have almost run their course, and people will soon lose interest. The question is, what will replace them? Extreme intellectual endeavors? Super tag-team sonnet composition?

I nourish the unlikely hope that the next big thing in America will be Sumo Wrestling. It has fast-paced, quick matches (some of which last only seconds!), it's fun to watch, and it seems ideally suited to America, a country with a plentiful supply of people who like to eat a lot. That last part is a joke, since real Sumo wrestlers are strong, quick, skillful athletes and not couch potatoes. I really do enjoy watching Sumo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Lotus Flower

The lotuses are in bloom at the Portland Chinese Garden. Go see them while you can. Posted by Hello

Monday, July 12, 2004

East Fort Rock

This weekend my brother and I went camping and dirt-biking at the East Fort Rock OHV area. The riding was great, but the nights were cold. Saturday night got down to 29 degrees where we were camping.

This picture shows me on my Yamaha TT-R 250 at the camp site.

The area is huge, and the trails are very well marked so it is easy to figure out where you are. At one point in our ride, my brother got ahead of me, stopped his bike off the trail, then hid behind a tree and jumped out just as I passed by. At first I thought it was a deer or something so I swerved away, then I laughed when I saw it was him. We did see several deer later in the trip.

The night we arrived, I went on my first off-road night ride. By the time we set up camp, the sun had set, but we decided to take a quick ride anyway. Riding on a bumpy trail in the dark was spooky. It was a little bit like night skiing, but instead of the light coming from overhead, the headlights created ever-changing shadows on the bumps up ahead. Also, I was riding behind my brother, so my headlight beams hit the dust cloud that his bike kicked up, creating an effect similar to driving in heavy fog. It was fun but scary.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Red Day Lily

The red day lilies in my garden bloom later than the orange ones, but I don't have as many of them. I like this color. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Cough Syrup is Snake Oil

So, it turns out cough syrup is no better than sugar water. It performed no better than a placebo in a test. From now on, I'm making my own cough syrup out of sugary water combined with a proven pain-reliever, also known as a gin and tonic.

Monday, July 05, 2004

What Americans Know

  • 50 percent know how long it takes the Earth to circle the sun
  • 89 percent can find the U.S. on a map, 29 percent can find the Pacific Ocean on a map, 30 percent can find New Jersey
  • 70 percent know there are 50 stars on the American flag, but 10 percent think there are 52
  • 62 percent know that the name of our national anthem is "The Star-Spangled Banner"
  • 33 percent know what a molecule is
  • 28 percent know the meaning of Memorial Day
  • 90 percent know what a Slinky is
  • 85 percent know why we celebrate the Fourth of July

Sunday, July 04, 2004

What Americans Believe

  • Ten percent of Protestants, 21 percent of Roman Catholics, and 52 percent of Jews do NOT believe in God.
  • 43 Percent of Americans Feel Israel Threatens World Peace
  • 43 percent of Americans report they have "a lot more" common sense than most people, and 74 percent of Americans believe they have above-average practical judgment
  • 68 percent of Americans believe in the Devil
  • 81 percent of Americans believe in heaven, and 70 percent believe in hell
  • 72 percent of Americans want some kind of Mars-exploration program
  • 40 percent of Americans believe that the world will end as a result of supernatural intervention
  • 70 percent of Americans believe global warming is a very serious or somewhat serious problem
  • 61 percent of Americans believe the account of creation in the Bible's book of Genesis is "literally true" rather than a story meant as a "lesson."
  • 89 percent of Americans believe that it is important for young people to have information about contraception and prevention of STDs and that sexuality education programs should focus on how to avoid unintended pregnancies and STDs, including HIV and AIDS
  • 60 percent of Americans believe present immigration levels are a "critical threat to the vital interests of the United States."

My Strawberries

The strawberries in my garden are ready to eat. Of all the plants that I grow, strawberries are one of my favorites. They take very little effort to grow, and don't require any preparation to eat. The main work is in keeping other plants from encroaching on them. I grow a lot of varieties of strawberries all mixed together, including Hood, Quinault, and Tristar, and I put mushroom compost on them. Posted by Hello

Fan Palm

Mexican Fan Palm. This is in a container on my back deck, and it is still pretty small. But I like the shape of the leaves. Posted by Hello

Friday, July 02, 2004


While joking around the other night, my brother used the term Indian Giver, an expression I haven't heard in a long time, maybe not since childhood. Probably this expression has fallen out of fashion because it is horribly politically incorrect. The preferred term now would be Native American Giver. I'm just kidding, of course, that is no better. But what would the right term be? Is there a neutral term for someone who wants a gift back?

Streaming audio on the Treo 600

With Pocket Tunes, you can listen to SHOUTcast streaming audio on the Treo 600. Stations with bitrates <= 32 seem to work the best. Khaha, the all comedy channel, is a good one. Of course, spoken word content sounds better than music at low bitrates, but even the music sounds pretty reasonable, better than I would have thought.

TreoBits has a list of shoutcast stations that work well on the Treo.

Streaming audio on the Treo is incredibly cool, but it also drains the Treo's battery pretty quickly. Turning off the screen helps.